September 21, 2011
Another TSA agent has been arrested and accused of rape.
Clifton Lyles, who worked at the Nashville International Airport, was arrested earlier this week in Rutherford County, Tennessee, and charged with statutory rape. His bond was set at $10,000, according to NewsChannel 5 WTVF-TV in Nashville.
Earlier this month, a TSA employee was arrested in Nevada and charged with six counts of lewdness with a child.
In March of 2010, a TSA worker was arrested in Massachusetts and charged with statutory rape, enticement of a child and indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older, a Boston news station reported.
The agency has weathered a number of criminal accusations since its inception in late 2001 following the September 11 attacks.
In February, the TSA admitted in federal court that a supervisor and two TSA agents were arrested and charged with stealing thousands of dollars in cash from the luggage of travelers. Another employee was arrested and fired for assaulting a co-worker in a dispute over a parking space.
Several days before the TSA admission of guilt, a TSA security officer at Newark Liberty International Airport pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and kickbacks from a colleague who regularly stole money from passengers during security screenings, Reuters reported.
Passenger theft by TSA employees is a nationwide problem, writes Howard Portnoy. According to TSA records, press reports, and court documents, around 500 TSA officers have been fired or suspended for stealing from passenger luggage.
Airports in New York City harbor the most flagrant offenders, according to Portnoy, “but virtually no city in the nation is safe from the TSA’s sticky fingers.”
Violence is also a problem. In August, a former TSA employee was charged with a federal hate crime after he allegedly attacked an 83-year-old Somali man on May 4, 2010.
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